Perhaps the rain was paying homage, perhaps it was just a cliché moment as it was its season, we wouldn’t know but one thing was certain, the event was one of its kind and would stay etched in the memories of all those present. Stepping out of his jeep, clad in a white cat suit that further announced his status, Mr. Collins Enebeli, fondly known as the MAVIN Grandpa walked into the auditorium of the Lagos State University Theater Arts and Music Department, accompanied by a host that only he could have gathered. In his wake were top notch artistes of now and then including the great Majek Fashek, Stella Monye, Dija, D’Prince and a crowd of influencers in the music industry of today.
With all the cheers and screaming, one would have thought this was a musical concert, but it was much more than that. It was an avenue for learning and an opportunity to mix with the greatest musical talents to have been exported from the country. Taking to the stage to give his Keynote address, MAVIN Grandpa made a note that should reverberate through time, “The world is ready for Nigerian musicians.”
MAVIN Grandpa explained that hard work and talent need the backing of God to reap fruits in the current industry. According to him, the Nigerian music scene is buoyant as it serves as major contributor to the nation’s GDP and as such must not be overlooked any longer. However, he had a few tips for musical talents that saw their future in the industry.
“As a musician, you must belong to a professional body that works in accordance with your style of music.”
He explained that to do music as a lone wolf in the country is fruitless and unnecessary since there are already bodies that have been set up to guide musicians through the industry. He cited the example of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), explaining that this body serves as an umbrella for all musicians in the country.
Furthermore, MAVIN Granpa urged that aspiring musicians should never make the mistake of chasing money ahead of expansion of knowledge and musical skills. He explained that the country was already becoming a hotbed as international bodies have deemed it fit to invest in local music and artistes, as such it would be unnecessary for artistes to chase what they can gain rather than what they can build.
According to him, the need to be different was of utmost importance as musicians who stand by their craft are more respected than those who nitpick the styles of other people. In his words; “Why would you try to give the world what they’ve already heard when they came to your country to search for something they haven’t heard”
MAVIN Grandpa ended his speech by assuring occupants of the auditorium that the future was bright and it could only get better as more investors dip their hands into the economy.
To lighten the atmosphere, the students were treated to performances by some of the school’s students and musicians such as Stella Monye and Majek Fashek.
The event which serves as an avenue to induct new members into the music department is held once a year and has played host to the likes of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Yinka Davies and Dede Mabiaku.